Health & Safety

June 13, 2014

Pull aside, stay alive, message for drivers

That’s the familiar message to drivers from the Arizona Department of Transportation as another summer monsoon approaches.

For the third year, ADOT continues its efforts to educate drivers about the threat of dust storms as the monsoon officially begins Sunday. ADOT shows motorists the real meaning of “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” with new television and radio public-education announcements that focus on the devastating outcomes for drivers who try to drive through dust storms.

The new public-education announcement focuses on a recent dust-related fatal crash along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson. The “911 Call” announcement illustrates what can happen to drivers who do not heed the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” message. Audio of 911 calls from the crash are heard against visuals of emergency personnel moving among crushed vehicles and semitrailers surrounded by blowing dust.

ADOT’s mission is to provide valuable information to drivers before they get caught in a low-visibility dust storm. The agency’s top recommendation is to avoid driving into a wall of dust at all costs.

“Driving into a dust storm is very dangerous, but the key is that oftentimes it can be avoided,” said John Halikowski, ADOT director. “Drivers must be ready to alter their plans if there is a threat of a dust storm. It’s better to change plans than try to power through dangerous conditions. But if you’re on the road and a dust storm suddenly appears near you, pull off the highway as quickly and safely as possible. Never drive through a dust storm. It’s not a risk worth taking.”

Because dust storms can develop quickly, particularly along the I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson, ADOT uses several methods to get information to drivers. These include electronic highway message boards, social and traditional media, communication with ADOT staff and law enforcement officers in the field, television and radio advertising, and close coordination with partnering agencies.

For more information, visit www.azdot.gov.




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